Orange and Vodafone in a bid for Etisalat Nigeria
Etisalat Nigeria are reportedly in talks with Orange and Vodafone over a 65% stake in the business
Following the departure of the Etisalat Group from its Nigerian business, Etisalat Nigeria, Orange Telecom and Vodafone have appeared as front runners to buy a 65% stake in the operator.
The company, which was taken over by thirteen Nigerian banks and lenders over failure to repay a $1.2bn loan, has now had no fewer than five firms express interest in buying the now relinquished shares. But Orange and Vodafone appear to be at the front of the queue, presenting the most concrete interests in the takeover, according to Brandish.
All parties are said to be working hard to speed up discussions in attempts to minimalise any collateral damage and brand erosion that may compromise the business of the future owners. It was also learnt that the banks are ensuring a workable repayment plan is in place from the prospective new owners.
Whichever company triumphs in negotiations, re-branding is set to be an early priority in order to move away from the Etisalat name, although this is also likely to seize a fair amount of their capital in the first year which is also being negotiated.
It is also reported that state investment fund Mubadala has also pulled out of Etisalat Nigeria over the loan debt.